The art of newsjacking

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Here, we explore why ‘newsjacking’ is one of the great ways law firms can increase their brand awareness and drive business, using the ongoing Uber test case as a prime example.

As a PR agency, we’re always on the lookout for different ways of generating media interest in our clients’ stories. This is particularly true when working with law firms, where competition for column inches is high and legal journalists are few and far between (as well as notoriously hard to get hold of!).

So what can we do to cut through the noise?

One of the advantages of working in the legal sector is that there is never a shortage of stories that need commentary, or indeed people that want to comment on them. Almost every story we read, be it political, financial or about Harrison Ford’s broken leg, will have a legal implication that consumers and businesses can consider.

Take the ongoing Uber employment tribunal as an example. After much deliberation, the judges will soon deliver their hotly anticipated verdict on whether the global firms’ drivers should be classified as ‘workers’ or ‘self-employed’ in the UK. Whatever the decision there will undoubtedly be mass media interest, so with many legal PRs vying for the top spot on what this means for employee rights and how the news will affect the burgeoning gig economy, we needed to be prepared ahead of the proposed judgement on 12 October.

PR top tips for newsjacking a legal judgement:

  1. Consider both eventualities and prepare the necessary statements and content so you’re ready to hit send once the judgement lands
  2. Talk to relevant people within the business who can deliver insight on the impact of the decision – any data will be gold dust
  3. Research the media that are active on the story and be prepared to feed them your content

Even the best laid plans never go exactly as you think however….judgement day came and went without so much of a hint at the result – and we’re still waiting more than a week later. However, those initial conversations have still proved fruitful, with us being asked to provide commentary from our client for the BBC’s piece, ‘What does Uber’s employment case mean?’

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of two months to prepare, so moving fast on these opportunities is an absolute must. Thankfully, law firms have experts in almost every field so we are primed and ready to shed light on the next breaking news story!

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